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· The Hunter
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17,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been writing a small 'article' about Chankast and the troubles when helping people getting their games to run, while still working within the limitations set by the rules of NGEmu. I would really appreciate the opinion of some of the mods and admins on what I write about it, because personally, as you can read below, I find it very difficult helping new members with this emulator. And I thought that this might be fit for a sticky, or for a place in the article list of NGEmu. However I am not in the position to decide about those things, so I'll just let you guys read it and any feedback or comments are more than welcome :)

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*sigh* the trouble that is Chankast....

It ain't easy helping people out playing their emulated games while not supporting piracy at the same time. But out of all emulators Chankast is the most difficult emulator when it comes down to stuff like this. Most emulators either play games too old that I don't care anymore about them being legit, such as NES and SNES, and others can play their games fine with the original medium, such as PSX. But Chankast plays DC games, and those come on custom discs, which can only be read by a DC.

We've got lots of newbies over at NGEmu asking why X game isn't working for them on Chankast. While I would love to help them, I don't feel like dumping all my own DC games to my pc to check if that one game actually works or not, thus confirming if it's an emulation issue, or a bad dump. I know most people download their games, and a lot of times they download the BIOS file as well. A lot of the downloaded games have been ripped and the warez groups added their trailers to them, the best known one must be the Echelon trailer of DOA2le and Skies of Arcadia. While I don't want to be an arse immediately talking the new people into a corner, it is hard to help them at the same time, an example situation:

Person X asks me why Virtua Tennis isn't playing.

Now I have the following options, mind that I do not have the game, nor an image.

1. Ask him to put it in his real DC to check if it is selfbootable and/or has a warez intro.
2. Ask him to make a new dump of the game.
3. Bluntly ask him if he downloaded his warez.
4. Wait for an other person to help him, closely marking his words to see if it's still cool with the forum rules.

Now here are the results for each of the 4 options:

1.1: He says he doesn't have a DC (meaning he doesn't have the right to own a BIOS file on his HD)
1.2: It turns out the game has got one of those intros (warez... )
1.3: The image doesn't fit on a CDr because it is about 1gb instead of 700mb (seems he's got himself a legit copy, now what?)
1.4: The game isn't selfbootable (could be warez, might be a bad dump, on to step 2)

As you can see, with 1.1 and 1.2 it is clear it's about warez, and the thread will be closed.
With 1.3 we'd have to look for a different solution, that goes beyond my knowledge of chankast, so we'd have to wait for someone with about the same experience.
With 1.4 it might be warez, or it might be a bad dump, so we'd have to continue to option 2.


2.1: He says he doesn't have a coders cable or BBA.
2.2: He admits it was downloaded

In both cases it will be the end of the line as well, if you don't have a CC or BBA, you can't dump the image yourself so you must've downloaded it.

3rd situation:

3.1: He says yes
3.2: He says no

In case 3.1 it doesn't take a scientist to figure what will happen, ye'll get twatted by the [email protected]$$ stick and get yerself a ban. With 3.2 we'd refer to point 2: ask him to clean his disk and dump himself a new image.

As you can see, it's pretty obvious that with almost all of the possible questions asked we will come to the point where he either has to admit he downloaded his stuff, or that we'll find out he doesn't have the right to have a BIOS in the first place.

The only possible option left is option 4, and even though in theory it is possible that one is using chankast, his own bios, and his self-dumped image, I think it is pretty rare, and 95% of all chankast users are either using warez for their own comfort of not having to dump their own stuff, while they do own a DC and the game, or they're cheapskates looking for their warez to play not even having seen a real DC in their life, not even knowing the games come on GDroms.

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ps. If you'd be asking what might be the purpose of making this sticky or whatever, imo it might serve as an example guide of how problems concerning this emulator are treated here :)
 

· PCSX2 Coder
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11,343 Posts
to be fair, i appreciate you typing that out, but it looks like its all common knowledge to me. Yes DC emulation can be a problem for some, but emulation is about making one machine run on another, if you are fascinated by it, you buy a BBA or coders cable and rip your own games, otherwise there is no real advantage of using a pc instead of a DC, just unfortunately a lot of idiots think its a way of getting to play dreamcast games without having to dive into their shallow pockets.
 

· The Hunter
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17,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with you on that, and what I wrote down was more focused on the 'idiots' than on the first group. Because a lot of them still expect to get help here, and I emphasized on the difficulty helping that group and filtering out 'the good ones'. I know most of what I typed is common sense to us, however judging by how many ppl we get here still asking support I think it might be a good source of information to them, because they don't know us and our reasoning.
 

· Foundry/Foundation
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11,824 Posts
Nice article, however, I think it is or could be less troublesome as you state.

With N64 it's easier to track the problem without referring to warez, but it's mostly the same deal. Almost no one dumps actual N64 images from his N64.

In response to 1.1:
At the time PS1 emulation was big, many didn't have a PlayStation, many even said that and no one really cared (as long as they didnt ask where to dld the bios)... if people do care about that now, we just got a little too strict ;)

Either way, most of the time the problem is either:
1) patched/hacked image that doesn't work on the current version of chankast and might or might not work in the next one.
2) game that doesn't work in vga mode; don't use vga mode
3) game that simply doesn't work in chankast (yet)
4) corrupt image (will never work)

That wouldn't be too hard to solve, I reckon?
 

· Premium Member
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2,657 Posts
The main problem with Dreamcast emulation in general are all these "bad" .cdi images surfing the net. Even if you have everything configured correctly these images will not work (you either get an i/o control error or you get the audio CD menu) unless you have a specific version of an image drive application that supports these images. Daemon Tools v3.29 is one of these applications and it has some major problems during installation on Windows XP.

Some of the guys might own the games, they cannot rip them, they download these "bad" .cdi images instead, they can't make them work with most virtual drives because these applications think that the images are corrupted, they don't know what's going on and they believe that the emulator is responsible for that. The worst thing is that even if you have a "good" Dreamcast ISO image (downloaded or ripped by you) which is not bootable, and you try to make it bootable using most of the "selfboot applications" out there, the image will be converted to a bootable but "bad" .cdi image which will lead to the same result.

This is confusing and pisses off too many users without experience. It makes them start flamming the authors, the emulator, everything and everyone. They try everything and they can't make it work even if they rip their own games so I can't blame them for this situation...
 

· The Hunter
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17,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the input, I always like discussions like this :)

Samor said:
Nice article, however, I think it is or could be less troublesome as you state.

With N64 it's easier to track the problem without referring to warez, but it's mostly the same deal. Almost no one dumps actual N64 images from his N64.

In response to 1.1:
At the time PS1 emulation was big, many didn't have a PlayStation, many even said that and no one really cared (as long as they didnt ask where to dld the bios)... if people do care about that now, we just got a little too strict ;)
Judging from the way you put it, things then have gotten more strict over time.
 

· PS2 PAL[v9], PS3Slim PAL
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5,398 Posts
Well.. if you ask me, whole situation is obvious - when someone admits, that he has something illegal - case is closed, just like in PS2 situation. Maybe it's easier to have games running on pc because of disc, but 1GROM disc is not explanation for getting warez stuff, rulez are rulez and we should obey them... I think when such situation occures you should describe that n00b whole situation, or direct him to stickies, and than close thread.
 

· Foundry/Foundation
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11,824 Posts
Cid Highwind said:
Thanks for all the input, I always like discussions like this :)

Judging from the way you put it, things then have gotten more strict over time.
at least for that particular issue...

another question; say, if your article is put up as a sticky, doesn't it simply advertise "we can't help you, please leave"? Because it leaves very little option to actually ask a question about a not-working game.
On the other hand though, since chankast not running a game has usually 1 out of 4 reasons, we don't need too much of those questions anyway....
 

· The Hunter
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17,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Samor said:
at least for that particular issue...

another question; say, if your article is put up as a sticky, doesn't it simply advertise "we can't help you, please leave"? Because it leaves very little option to actually ask a question about a not-working game.
On the other hand though, since chankast not running a game has usually 1 out of 4 reasons, we don't need too much of those questions anyway....
Yeah, you're probably right about that, though one might say that already a lot of questions are being filtered out by this, like Refraction said, what I wrote down was common sense and I think usually the standard way of treating problems. I don't want to discourage members with their questions, and I think most of the members who've been here a bit longer know the standard procedure, that there is no problem until you admit you've got warez. To newbs it simply points out to the fact that it is kinda useless to ask questions about how to get their downloaded versions to work, because we'd ask a lot of stuff that they need their original DC or games for to check.

And surely someone can always ask about the compatibility of a certain game, so that he might figure out himself that the game should be working, while it is not. And in that case he could ask for support of course, and either dump himself a new image (or he might look for an other download).
 
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